on Nov. 25, 2018, 4:18 PM IST
Washington DC. [USA], November 25 (ANI): Applying sunscreen to your body may be good for your skin but the nanoparticles can also adversely affect your skin.
A new study led by researchers at the University of Queensland and the University of South Australia provides the first direct evidence that zinc oxide nanoparticles used in sunscreens do not penetrate the skin or cause cell toxicity after repeated application.
The study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, refuted widespread claims and growing confidence among consumers about the safety of nanoparticulate-based sunscreens.
The researchers say that the myths about the toxicity of sunscreens continued after previous animal studies found that skin absorption was much higher than zinc-containing sunscreens than in human studies.
"There are concerns that these zinc oxide nanoparticles can be absorbed into the epidermis, with toxic consequences, including DNA damage," said Michael Roberts, lead researcher.
Toxicity links are picked up by consumers, fueling fears that people can reduce their use of sunscreen, echoed by the Cancer Council's 2017 National Sun Protection Survey showing a decline in the number of people who believe it's safe to use sunscreen every day.
Roberts and his colleagues studied the safety of repeated application of zinc oxide nanoparticles applied to five volunteers aged 20-30 years. Volunteers apply ZnO nanoparticles every hour for six hours on five consecutive days.
Using superior imaging methods, the researchers determined that the nanoparticles remained in the superficial layer of skin and did not cause cellular damage.
"We hope these findings help increase consumer confidence in these products and in turn lead to better sun protection. "The dire consequences of skin cancer and skin damage caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight far outweigh any toxicity caused by approved sunscreens," Roberts concluded.